CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Jake Heaps was back at practice with Miami on Wednesday, and back in the race with Brad Kaaya to become the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback to open the season.
A sore elbow kept Heaps from a Monday scrimmage. The Hurricanes do not believe the issue is serious.
“He wanted to go,” Hurricanes coach Al Golden said. “And sometimes you’ve got to say, ‘It’s not worth it.'”
Heaps and Kaaya have been the frontrunners throughout training camp for the starting job, which became a wide-open competition in the spring when presumed first-stringer Ryan Williams tore a knee ligament. Williams has been practicing throughout camp, though it remains unclear when he will be able to participate in a game.
Heaps transferred to Miami during the offseason, after stints at BYU and Kansas. Kaaya is a true freshman.
“It’s pretty heated,” Miami offensive coordinator James Coley said of the Heaps-Kaaya race. “It’s pretty close, absolutely.”
The Hurricanes have not said when they will decide on starters for their Sept. 1 season- and Atlantic Coast Conference-opener at Louisville. Miami lost to the Cardinals last season in the Russell Athletic Bowl, though both teams will have a decidedly different look this fall.
Heaps said it was a difficult decision to miss the scrimmage, though he also knows it was the prudent move.
“If it was up to me I would have been out there and that probably wouldn’t have been a good thing,” Heaps said. “The fact that my coaches care about me enough to sit there and think about my well-being, that’s a good thing and I think I’m very grateful for that.”
Miami was 9-4 last season, with Stephen Morris taking most of the snaps. Morris has graduated and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Of the quarterbacks who remain on Miami’s roster, only Williams has thrown a pass for the Hurricanes.
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